From coffee to tea to energy drinks, caffeine is just about everywhere in our society. Its use is so widespread that many people do not even think about it. And although there have been warnings in the past about the possible long-term effects of caffeine, recent research suggests that it might be healthier for you than was previous thought. Below are seven things that no one ever told you about America’s favorite stimulant.
Boosts Short- and Long-Term Memory
Research has long shown that caffeine is effective for boosting the short-term memory, but increasingly, evidence is coming to light that it supports long-term memory skills as well. Medical professionals from the Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York are touting it as a possible preventative against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and mental decline.
Enhances Athletic Performance
It will come as no surprise to those who participate in the sports that caffeine, taken in around an hour before an event, can enhance one’s athletic performance. It primarily does this by speeding up reaction time, increasing mental alertness and decreasing the mind’s perception of physical effort.
Caffeine is Effective Almost Immediately
If you are needing a fast energy boost, caffeine is probably the answer to your problem. It can quickly cross the blood-brain barrier and this means that the central nervous system gets stimulated quickly. This means that the mental alertness happens quickly after consumption and will peak around 30-60 minutes afterwards.
Contents May Vary!
According to a recent study, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee vary greatly, though it averages from 90 to over 200mg per cup. This can vary between restaurants or chains, but can also vary at the same restaurant depending on the day it is purchased. It depends on who’s making the coffee on any given day!
Espresso is Low in Caffeine!
The perception is that espresso is a simply loaded with caffeine, but in fact a single shot generally adds up to anywhere between 40 and 70 mg, much less than the average cup of regular coffee. If you are sensitive to caffeine, then, ordering an espresso-based drink like a latte much actually be a better bet.
Caffeine Does Not Dehydrate You
According to the FDA, nearly all of the caffeine which Americans consume comes by way of beverages (around 98%), so it is likely that you are still hydrating when you take it in. However, caffeine is a natural diuretic and stimulates urination, so make sure that if you are drinking coffee, you are making sure to take in plenty of water as well.
Caffeine – It’s not Just for Beverages Anymore!
Although most caffeine does come by way of drinks, it is not the sole source of this stimulant. Chocolate is a major source of caffeine and it is also to be found in many over the counter medications, especially those for pain relief.
Caffeine is nearly everywhere in our society, but it has gotten a bit of a bad rap in the press up until more recent times. The fact is though that enjoyed in moderation, it can be a good energy boost and even help against serious long-term conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. That’s pretty good for a cup of java!
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